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Health Journeys Contributor Dr. Carolyn Daitch Shares Tips for Travelers

05 Aug

Recently, Carolyn Daitch, PhD, author of Managing the Distress of Cancer and its Treatment, wrote to Belleruth to generously share her travel tips. Belleruth generously shared them with us and all the happy Health Journeys bloggers.
“As we approach the month of August when many of my clients schedule their summer getaways,” Daitch wrote, “The topic of travel-related anxiety comes up frequently. 

On that theme, I wanted to share a list of tips with you that I often give my clients to help them take the stress out of their vacations.”

  1. Calm your nervous system with a relaxation technique.  It's hard to think reasonably when your body is anxious.   Listen to a meditation CD, or practice slow breathing to lower your baseline anxiety level.

  2.  Write down your worries.  The mere act of writing creates some detachment from your concerns that will help you achieve some objectivity.

  3.  Mind the mind with Cognitive Therapy. Take your list of worried thoughts and, for each item, ask yourself the question: how likely is it that the outcome I'm fearing will really happen? This evaluation is intended to help you acknowledge that there may be very little evidence that your worries will come to fruition.

  4.  Acknowledge inner resources. You've encountered and lived through many new situations, e.g. starting a new job,  moving to a different home, even  going on (and even enjoying) previous vacations.  Say to yourself:  "I survived that challenge and I know I can survive this one."

  5.  Remember that there are stores where you are going.  It's not a disaster if you forget to pack everything.

  6.  If flying is a fear, bring this topic into your personal therapy.  There are therapeutic interventions that can help!  And be sure to take a good book or a tablet on which you can watch a film, listen to music, or play a game.  It's good to have something to keep your mind busy while you're in the air.

  7.  Embrace uncertainty.  Let's face it: life is uncertain and travel is even more so.  Say a self-statement:  "I accept uncertainty.  I may not like it, but I can handle it."

Happy Travels, from the staff of Health Journeys.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, don’t forget to take some guided imagery with you to make the skies a little friendlier and the road a little smoother. Be sure to share your travel stories with us when you return.